Hundreds of youths were on Thursday turned away at Bushenyi district head quarters after they failed to meet the requirements to join the Uganda Peopleâ€™s Defense Forces (UPDF).
The visibly disappointed youth remained standing along the fence of the district local government offices, with hope of being recalled but in vain.
Amon Mugabe, one of the many who could not be taken said that he was disappointed by the recruitment team because they did not listen to him. Mugabe says there was a slight error in his documents, which he was willing to explain but the recruitment team simply sent him away.
Col. Godfrey Golooba, the head of the recruitment team in the area said that they cannot take everybody who turns up. He noted that the five districts of Mitooma, Rubirizi, Bushenyi, Buhweju and Sheema have a total of 8 slots for cadet officers and 80 for regular army entrants. Because of the ceiling, Col Golooba said, the army tries to get the best candidates.
He said that they found many youths with forged documents although they have not handed them over to police, instead told them to go away. He said that some others come with documents belonging to their relatives and fail to defend them when asked.
Col Golooba said other youths could not be taken because they failed a health test and their doctors advised them accordingly.
Golooba said that he is not surprised to see hundreds of youths interested in joining the army because it is becoming one of the noble professions in this country.
He refuted allegations that UPDF recruiting in preparation for war.